I remember

I remember

September 11, 2018 0 By Shan Ellis Williams

I think that everyone remembers where they were when something huge happens. I remember. I was in between teaching jobs, and looking forward to start in a new school the next week covering a period of maternity. It wasn’t late when I got up. And I turned the TV onto the news. And I stopped. Watching agog, with the same incredulity as I had back in 1997 when the news informed me that Princess Diana had died in a car crash in Paris. I couldn’t quite believe it. Watching as the news story unfolded, I thought of family I had in New York. A friend of mine was working near the Twin Towers. We were in our early twenties, we wanted to travel, experience, spread our wings out and see the world.

Then this.

17 years gone in a blink of an eye. I still don’t think we know the full truth. I don’t think the likes of us ever will. All I know is this will be one of the lasting memories of my lifetime. And the question why, will stay with me eternally. This day made heroes and martyrs of ordinary people. And a community rallying against unspeakable evil. Even watching from afar, it seemed far too real to be reality.

I remember. My children will be educated, because on this day, the world changed. It became smaller. It also became blinkered. The word terrorist became the bogey man hiding under each child’s bed. Everything changed.

I remember.





Candles quiver
reverence hallowed,
haunted echoes.

Pervading pin-drop
kneels amongst
wailing women
keenly seeking
hollow Allah.

doll-like decade,
forgiveness sought
for brainwashed sins.

Fasting flagellation
innocence lost
2,997 atonements
for evil’s epitome.

Taciturn reverence,
no answers
uncommunicated psychosis.

Islam is peace,


Torah screams.

Water trickles placidly above.
smothered fallen stir
crescendoing mutely,
not forgotten.
3650 days
will never erase
the flickering twin candles
of Ramadan.